Tai chi, or Tai chi quan, as it is also known, is held in the highest regard as a martial art in China.
Over the years, as well as being practised as a martial art, tai chi has developed into one of the leading mind-body practices, and has spread rapidly into the Western world, alongside yoga, where it has been extensively researched and promoted as a low impact, sustainable and highly beneficial practice for health and longevity. Most styles of tai chi trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun.
At White Crane Online, we teach a rare White Crane tai chi form, originating from the Fujian province in south east China. It is known as ‘Shuang Yang Bai He Rou Ruan Quan’ … usually shortened to ‘Shuang Yang’. It translates as ‘Frost and Sun White Crane Gentle Art’ – the frost and sun represent the yin and the yang, so prevalent in Chinese history, philosophy and medicine.
Signing up with WCO
You can sign up to White Crane Online for free and enjoy a range of free video tutorials which are easy to follow and where you can learn qigong, seated exercise routines, meditations, and other tai chi related activities such as stretching, footwork and breathing.
We also have a blog, which has a whole host of tai chi related information, as well as a podcast which is updated regularly. Here Mark shares information, inspiration and ideas in short bite-sized episodes.
Learn Tai Chi and Shibashi with WCO
For those who want to take their training a step further and reap the full benefits of tai chi training, subscribers can learn the entire White Crane tai chi form, ‘Shuang Yang’.
The detailed video tutorials are released to you gradually over a 12 month period and you’ll learn each move individually and in depth, from multiple angles, going over common mistakes and breathing patterns. As each month is released, you’ll also be able to access a ‘follow the instructor’ video, where you can follow Mark through all of the moves that you have learnt so far.
In each tutorial, for those who need to build up strength, flexibility or balance, alternative versions of more difficult moves are always offered.
As well as the 12 month Shuang Yang course, subscribers can learn an 18 move qigong form called Shibashi – this is a lovely, flowing, gentle sequence which is great for relaxation, stretching and moving the whole body, is meditative and promotes deep breathing – it’s also easy to follow and learn.
Subscribers will also be able to join our closed Facebook group where Mark and his team of instructors and assistants from White Crane Academy (in the UK) will be offering advice and training tips. Here you can upload videos, learn from other members of the community and enjoy regular videos and Facebook Live events from Mark.
In Chinese, the White Crane tai chi form is called ‘Shuang Yang Bai He Rou Ruan Quan’, which translates as ‘Frost and Sun White Crane Gentle Art’.
The frost and sun part of the name is linked to the Taoist symbolism of yin and yang, which is embedded in traditional Chinese philosophy and culture. Yin (black) and yang (white) is represented by the imagery of the shady and sunny side of the mountain – the shady side being dark, cold and ‘frosty’, with the sunny side being warm and light.
The white crane part of the name is simple – just like those of the white crane bird, the movements of this tai chi form are gentle, elegant and flowing, but also precise and stable with a subtle strength. The white crane bird is also a symbol of longevity and good health – these are also core benefits of practising White Crane tai chi regularly.